Should you be mysterious when you’re dating? Join Cathy Vartuli from http://www.TheIntimacyDojo.com as she asks sex and relationship expert Reid Mihalko from http://www.ReidAboutSex.com whether popular dating advise books have your best interest at heart.
Cathy: (laughter) You look like you’re constipated….
Reid: I just want the opening picture that’s on the YouTube thing to be me going (makes a face) “So people are like, “What’s going on? He looks like he’s constipated.”
Cathy: Yes, you do, actually.
Reid: Yes. That’s me being inscrutable.
Cathy: (laughing) Oh, is that what that is?
Reid: (whispering) Mystery. “What’s wrong with him?”
Cathy: People do wonder.
Reid: Yeah. See, and that makes me more alluring.
Reid: Worst advice person ever! (laughter) Take everything I do and say, and do the opposite! (laughing)
Cathy: A lot of dating advice talks about keeping the mystery, not sharing, kind of hiding any of your flaws, so that they’ll like you. What do you have to say?
Reid: Like I was just doing to them, at the beginning of this video?
Cathy: (laughing) I don’t think they recommend the face.
Reid: (whispers) I can’t help it. It’s my mysterious face. (back to normal) Umm, my advice on this?
Reid: Stop doing it. You’re driving each other crazy, and you’re not learning anything about each other, and you’re not role modeling that it’s okay to actually be honest and open. I’m a big fan of “people should be interested in you.”
Cathy: Mmm hmm.
Reid: And the mystery is like, what are we going to create together? What adventures can we have? What can we talk about? Not (sexy voice) “Oh, you’re so inscrutable, I’m so turned on.” No! Don’t do that! Like, that’s for vacation sex. That’s for when you’re like in Rome, or some other country, and they’re mysterious because you do not speak their language! And you guys don’t know what you’re saying to each other!
Cathy: (laughing) It might have been good advice in the 1950s, 1960s, where you never saw each other and you’re going to die at 65 anyway.
Cathy: You just wanted to attract someone and get them, but…
Reid: Yes, this is true. And it makes for a great romance novel.
Cathy: It does.
Cathy: Everyone’s wondering, what’s happening when she has the kid hidden off…
Reid: Yeah, exactly.
Cathy: I mean, she doesn’t have children…
Reid: You know, is Mr. Darby constipated?
Cathy: I think that’s a very…
Reid: Isn’t Jane Austen perfect?
Cathy: I love Jane Austen.
Reid: Is it Darcy or Darby?
Reid: Darcy? Did I say Darby?
Reid: Bleah! See how mysterious I am?
Cathy: (laughing) Don’t even know what book he’s talking about. I think the mystery when people talk about, that there’s a lot of books out there.
Reid: Mmm hmm.
Cathy: And I think there is… It’s attractive, because then we don’t have to share our selves, and we get to hide what we’re most ashamed of.
Reid: (heavy sigh) Yeah, I mean I get it, and in some ways it’s easier, and also based on old paradigms, where once you got them married they couldn’t take it back.
You know, unless you knew somebody in the church who could get it annulled. So like “Waaaaa! I’m actually THIS person!” But that doesn’t work anymore. I mean, if you’re trying to be seductive… I personally would trade in seductive for flirtatious and playful.
Cathy: Uh huh.
Reid: And I would keep the romance. There’s a whole thing we can do about what’s romance. But the idea of seductive being this mysterious thing, that’s really a romance-novel kind of setting. That’s a movie thing, that’s not how you actually live your life. And vet somebody for whether they’re a good fit for a relationship. So it’s not that you can’t be mysterious, but have the mystery be, you know, where I’m taking you tonight, because I’ve planned this cool third date.
Reid: Or, guess what color underwear I’m wearing?
Cathy: If you’re wearing underwear? (giggle)
Reid: Mysterious… But don’t make it about, I’m withholding these things. And again, I am saying, I know that the advice I am giving you is radical. Like I’m actually saying, “Spill the beans.” Once you’ve built a little bit of relatedness, tell them everything. Try to scare them away. I try to scare them away immediately. And then if they stick around, then I start building relatedness. But you should probably not do it exactly the way I do it. And because of it, the people who are around me actually like me. They want to be around me because of who I am, because I’m so refreshing, and kind of up front about everything.
Reid: And that allows you to be, you know, playful and trustworthy in a way where…there’s a fine line between mysterious and “you’re a psycho!”
Reid: And I didn’t know that. And I think you want to be on the other side of that.
Cathy: Yeah, and it’s a lot more interesting when you get to know the actual person. And you’re there, not because you’re curious of what they’re going to do next, or who they are, because you know who they are, and you choose to be with them.
Reid: Yeah. And that’s intimacy, you know the other thing is, intrigue. Let’s save intrigue for spies, romance novels, and things like that. And those always end weird. I mean, come on!
Cathy: They do.
Reid: You’ve fallen in love with a pirate…
Cathy: Who has kidnapped you and your family.
Reid: Yeah! That’s already a bad idea! This is a dysfunctional relationship! That’s not romantic!
Cathy: Don’t start that.
Reid: Don’t start that.
Cathy: Thanks, Reid!
Reid: You’re welcome.
Cathy: (laughing) Are you being inscrutable?
Reid: Shhh. I’m trying to be mysterious at the end.
More articles on improving your communication and relationship skills: